The baker’s math stuff in plain english as much as possible:

Baker’s Percentage: The ingredients in a recipe, expressed as a percentage of the weight of the flour.

For example, a typical dough formula might be: 100 flour, 60 water, 2 salt, and 2 yeast. If the flour weighs 400g (about 3 cups worth), then the water would weigh 240g (.60 *400). The salt and yeast would each weigh 8g (.02 * 400).

Hydration:  Hydration can be thought of as an extension of the Baker’s Percentage. In the case of the dough above, the hydration is 60%, since the water weight is 60% of the flour weight.

High hydration (65-80%) is associated with rustic, “holey” breads. Low hydration (50-57%) is associated with bagels and crackers. Sandwich style breads are in between the two, at (57-65%). [The % category divisions are taken from Peter Reinhart’s – The Bread Baker’s Apprentice.]


The baseball stathead stuff in plain english, as much as possible:

Here’s a great page at The Hardball Times that briefly covers most everything.  Below are some of the metrics used at Cheap Seat Eats.

BAbip: A measure of the team’s defense and how well they turn batted balls into out, similar to FIP. Represented like Batting Average for a hitter. Calculated as                  (Hits – HR) / (AB – Strike Outs – HR – Sac Flies).

BB/9: Walks per nine innings. Calculated as (BB / IP * 9)

FIP: A pitcher’s “expected” ERA, if luck were taken out of the equation.  (And there’s a lot of luck built into traditional ERA.)  It uses HR rate, BB rate, Strikeout Rate, and a few other factors, depending upon whose system is being used.  I pretty much ignore ERA when I go to the ballpark  — I look at the three rate stats instead.  [Coltrane]

HR/9: Home Runs per nine innings. Calculated as (HR / IP * 9)

OPS+: OPS relative to league, 100 is “average”.  For example, Albert Pujols has a .962 OPS in 2010.  This is 58% better than the league average of .740.   Therefore, Pujols’  OPS+ is 158.    (100+58 = 158)  The M’s are 20%(!) worse than league average in 2010, so their OPS+ is 80.  (100-20 = 80)

SO/9: Strike Outs per nine innings. Calculated as (SO / IP * 9)

UZR: Ultimate Zone Rating.  A defensive metric that measures how many plays a fielder makes as compared how many they should make.  Positive numbers are good.  Negative numbers are bad.  (+10 is “great”, -10 is “this guy needs to DH.)

WAR: Wins over Replacement Level.
A “Replacement Level” player is a player that talentwise is on the fringe of being a Major-League quality player.  There are tons of these guys available basically for free bouncing between AAA and the Majors.  A team of nothing but Replacement Level players would win about 48 games in a season.  WAR is a measure of how many wins a player adds above Replacement Level.  As an example, changing out a “0” WAR (Replacement Level) player for a “2” WAR player on a team’s roster would add two to the number of wins the team could expect to achieve in a season.  For reference, a “2” WAR player is a solid, unspectacular starter at the major league level.   Players above about “5” WAR are superstars.